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Design and evaluation of a soft and wearable robotic glove for hand rehabilitation

Biggar, Stuart and Yao, Wei (2016) Design and evaluation of a soft and wearable robotic glove for hand rehabilitation. IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, 24 (10). pp. 1071-1080. ISSN 1534-4320

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Abstract

In the modern world, due to an increased aging population, hand disability is becoming increasingly common. The prevalence of conditions such as stroke is placing an ever-growing burden on the limited fiscal resources of health care providers and the capacity of their physical therapy staff. As a solution, this paper presents a novel design for a wearable and adaptive glove for patients so that they can practice rehabilitative activities at home, reducing the workload for therapists and increasing the patient’s independence. As an initial evaluation of the design’s feasibility the prototype was subjected to motion analysis to compare its performance with the hand in an assessment of grasping patterns of a selection of blocks and spheres. The outcomes of this paper suggest that the theory of design has validity and may lead to a system that could be successful in the treatment of stroke patients to guide them through finger flexion and extension, which could enable them to gain more control and confidence in interacting with the world around them.